Arma 3 and the Support Roles

Maybe my personality type just naturally fits into the support role. Maybe this would (and probably is) not what the majority of players are looking for when they spend their meagre hours on-line looking for a fun experience but if I can support the team in accomplishing its goals, even if I do not get to shoot at anything or even get close to the action, I still feel a sense of fulfilment and purpose.

During last nights SimHQ Military Monday session, I chose the role of transport pilot and was lucky to be able to fly the Arma 3 Mi-290 Taru (from the Helicopters DLC for Arma 3). It was massive fun picking the fire teams up from there randomly selected spawn points, navigating to the insertion point and then standing off and waiting for either the extraction call or the reinforcements call. Luckily, one of our regular members was late to the party and I was able to return to base, pick him up and deliver him to the fight … granted, outside the fight so I didn’t get shot down.

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Here is a quick, unedited video of me moving back to a stand-off point to await an extraction call.

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After that call, I decided that it was probably not best to just hover there and waste potentially precious fuel (aka: I didn’t know where the fuel gauge was) so I put down in an open space and sat next to the helicopter to admire the view.

One of the benefits of working and playing with a team of people willing to mod the game means that you get an enhanced experience. On a follow up mission I chose the role of a medic, meaning I was trying my best to not be at the pointy end of the stick but somewhere down where the hands were. As medic if you are up front you are doing something wrong. Granted, sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind in order to help a team-mate who has gotten a little to far into the fight themselves.

And if you want to see that in video forum, click this link. I am not sure if the animated blood is disturbing or not to some but in the case of the medic mod we were using it is almost comical.

Being a support team member is not necessarily directly rewarding; you do not get the sugar water by running around and pushing on the right dispenser button at the right time. Instead, you have to make a meta game out of it and take your success from that of your team mates: getting them to their objectives in one piece and keeping them in the fight. I am tremendously glad that Arma 3 has this aspect designed into it and that mod makers see the potential of this role and keep expanding it.


That is awesome. I too am often drawn to the support role. I’m just not a good enough shot with the rifle…LOL…I don’t spend much time playing FPShooters, so I’m thick that way. But I love flying the helos in MP missions. And Arma3 is just fantastic for that feeling of atmosphere and contributing to something larger.

I could be wrong - but I think the fuel bar is the white line at the top of the helicopter status box in the upper left corner. There is a little white line that I think drops from right to left as fuel is used in vehicles. I could be wrong though…I’m often wrong…

Nice write-up! I’ll have to join up one of these nights and do some flying on that server…


PS - You stole my idea - my first AAR for this forum is going to be an Arma 3 one!



I’ve not helo’d much in ARMA 3 but back in an earlier BF2 addiction :smiley: I used to spend a fair amount of time enjoying ferrying people up to the front-line in support. It’s fascinating that even in servers where it wasn’t just friends playing that groups would emerge where you’d start to trust others to help out (well, sometimes).

The feeling when transporting six other people and then messing up a landing is pretty bad though. I remember a particular nightmare where I was doing the ‘fancy flying’ down-low, skimming around with a full squad, living the dream.

Clipped a light pole. Boom. All died.

I learnt some new obscenities that day… lol

Edit: Is the video private? The embed plays, but I get a login guard on the straight link I think?

We’ve had our fair share of those. A few pilots who will remain nameless keep landing on rocks or impacting trees on landing and we give them a hard time. A few keep talking about how great they are (really, more defending themselves than chest thumping) as they run into power lines while flying low. IT usually results in a ton of laughs :smile:.

Probably the biggest problem with Arma 3 is the likelihood of the AI shooting your pilot in the head instead of damaging the helicopter you are flying. That happens way more than I think it would in real life.

Sorry. The video should be good now. I forgot to send one to the ‘Unlisted’ pile instead of it’s default ‘Private’ status.

I love the Taru. Have you used that mod that allows you to winch the pods up and down an attach them and release them? It is really cool…

That is very cool! I can see, with larger groups like ShackTack, the ability to use this as resupply and medivac. Very neat concept and honestly, I thought it would be like that out of the box. Great to see the functionality added.

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Yeah…I thought those modules would be loadable and unloadable right out of the box too. It is really cool to be able to take one to a distant site, drop it off, and have the vehicles there use it to refuel/repair. Totally awesome…

Actually with all the combat fying (virtually anyway) that I’ve done, I like to sometimes to be the bus driver, though I prefer the Ghosthawk

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I myself have basically done nothing in the Arma series but be a transport helo pilot. I dont know what attracted me to it in the first place but there is definitely an amazing feeling when you fast rope some guys on to a building “love the modding community” and extract them when they call for it. also first post for me.

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Me too, doing inserts and the like is just “fun”, I mean I can fly combat but I just want to do something else I guess.

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Some of my favorite memories in simming were flying those Longbow 2 UH-60 insertion missions. That was fun stuff…tense all the way…


Hello Gentlemen, I’ve had ARMA 3 for a while now, and just started getting back into it. I agree with both of you guys, in that I am also a bad shot with a rifle, and enjoy the pilot role much better. I am contemplating the download of AiA so that I can play around in the Seattle map. As a native Seattleite, this very much interests me. Especially if I can further detail out the terrain with custom airbases, buildings, and Missions. I will keep you posted with my experiments. -Woog


Do you have the helicopters DLC @Woogey? While some have balked at paying for that stuff…I have really got my money’s worth out of the Taru. I love that thing.


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Man that’s old… I flew mainly on the Escort side rather than the Lift portion of those missions, or at the least let the AI handle that mission while I flew ATK missions in LB2.

Yeah…I always though it was fun to fly the Kiowa and take along an Apache and sort let them do the heavy lifting. I’d spot the targets, and hand them off to the Apache. Love that hunter/killer combo…


Yes Chris I have the Helo DLC. I wish some of the ARMA 2 helicopters would be upgraded to the current visual standards. Either that or, get all of the Area 51 Sims models into ARMA 3. Somebody bought the rights to all those Helicopters a little over a year ago. I am really curious to see why. Or what may happen with them.

I was quite happy with the helicopter DLC especially the amazing Sling loading, not the biggest fan of the new NATO Chinook, but I have fallen in love with the Taru.
I have recently enjoyed just setting the time in Arma 3 to early morning and flying low around Altis, makes me appreciate how pretty Arma 3 can be.

Here is one of my videos of doing this earlier.

Sorry about the music it seems Fraps records any music playing even if I cant hear it.


No worries… I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You got that low level flying stuff down to a science!

And yeah…hard to beat Arma for atmospherics and low level stuff… Even the old Arma 2 had some really nice helo stuff… I was playing with that awesome AH-64D mod by Nodunit and Franze last year…so awesome! Haven’t tried it out in Arma 3 yet…


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Well at the time I was really heavy into Attack, and flew the Kiowa to check a block… But I was a straight Apache pilot though.